Recommended reading: Unfair advantages and the power of co-creation

Marketing Week reviews the latest books and articles for marketers.


The Unfair Advantage: How you already have what it takes to succeed

By Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba

Two startup entrepreneurs share their thoughts and secrets about what’s needed to map out a route to success. The big hook here is that all of us, whether we realise it or not, have advantages of one sort or another over the competition out there.

Ash Ali, the first marketing director of Just Eat, and Hasan Kubba, an expert in growth marketing, unpick the various elements at your disposal, covering sectors like location, education, intelligence, expertise and, the biggest unfair advantage of them all, a large inheritance.

Case studies include Google, Snapchat and Oprah Winfrey.

Netflix is ad free, but it isn’t brand free

By Tiffany Hsu

One of Netflix’s big selling points is the lack of ads impinging on our bingeing. However, as this New York Times piece discusses, the streaming service has been increasingly teaming up with brands to both promote shows and bring in extra revenue, while staring down an estimated $12bn (£9bn) debt.

A recent link up with Subway in the US saw the launch of a Green Eggs and Ham Sub to tie-in with a Dr Seuss Netflix show. The streamer also worked with jeans company Diesel on a clothing line inspired by drama La Casa de Papel (Money Heist).

Companies are increasingly keen to go into business with Netflix, with its young audience (the average viewer is 31) and strong global presence.

There have been plenty of exchanges on social of late, with the Netflix account enjoying a high-profile conversation with its counterparts at Wendy’s, Penguin Random House and Audi.

READ MORE: Netflix Is Ad Free, But It Isn’t Brand Free

Press Start: Using gamification to power-up your marketing

By Daniel Griffin and Albert van der Meer

Tapping into gaming remains something of a north star for many within the industry, but this how-to guide flips the narrative by looking at ways that gamification can feed into marketing strategies and business practice.

Daniel Griffin, head of marketing at Support Revolution, and Albert van der Meer, a Dutch creative consultant, look at how the marketing industry can take the motivational elements of games, like challenges, achievements and teams, and apply them to improve engagement and performance.

The pair use examples from LinkedIn, Delta Airlines, Starbucks and language learning platform Duolingo to show how such approaches are already establishing a beachhead among marketers. They also present step-by-step instructions on how to create marketing gamification solutions.

Co-Creating Brands: Brand management from a co-creative perspective

By Nicholas Ind and Holger Schmidt

This guide encourages organisations to embrace the idea of managing and developing a brand by teaming up with stakeholders and consumers.

Academics Nicholas Ind and Holger Schmidt call this the “co-creation perspective” and explain how development increasingly now happens beyond the limits of an organisation in our fast-changing, networked age.

The authors back up their theories with a variety of international case studies, showing how managers need to relax their hold on their brands and allow employees, customers and other stakeholders to help establish them as an unstoppable market force.


Brand development will save you from the storm

Marketing Week

Playing it safe is perhaps the most popular way to navigate choppy waters and there is certainly comfort and reassurance in turning to tried and trusted solutions. Just ask football managers Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson, who last week turned to semi-retired legends of the past to boost their playing squads for the challenges […]


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